On the court, a lot of teams are bringing back certain throwbacks this year. The Jazz are bringing back the purple mountain throwbacks. Are you hyped to get to rock those in a game?
Yeah, for sure. That’s definitely an iconic jersey. The world is full circle. The ’90s stuff is coming back. Everybody’s wearing baggy clothes. I think it’s all part of the flow. I think people remember those moments, you know, the Jazz going to the playoffs against Jordan with the mountain uniforms. I think the San Antonio Spurs got a crazy throwback. They brought the fiesta jerseys back like two, three years ago. Everybody bringing all these throwbacks back is super fire, bro. As young kids you watch people playing those jerseys. Now, you make it to the league and are able to put those on. It’s way different. I think it’s super dope.
As a Sixers fan, I’m still patiently waiting for the Iverson throwbacks to come back.
Yo, if those come back out that that’s probably going to be the sickest thing ever. The black with the red. Oh my God. Those are like the best jerseys ever. And they can’t make ‘em cropped. They gotta be big, bro. Cause the Lakers did the Showtime jerseys and had Kobe wearing the small shorts. So, they got to bring the super baggy shorts back out. Something crazy.
Sticking to basketball, there’s been a lot of stuff going on with the Jazz this offseason. The team lost Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Given all of the big shifts, what is your outlook on the upcoming season?
Honestly, we’ll see. I’m ready for whatever happens. I’ve been in the league for nine years now. I’m kind of a young vet in this. So, whatever direction management, owners, and the team are trying to go, I’m ready for it. If I’m in a different jersey in a week or tomorrow I get a phone call and I have to put on whatever jersey it is, I’m just trying to win and take whatever team it is to the next level to hopefully win a championship one day. That’s my outlook on it. If I’m here in Utah, I want to win. I want to strive for the playoffs, try to put a team together that could win something. It’s hard to go down from [where we were], bro. We’ve been winning for like three years straight. We had the best record in the league two years ago. This last year wasn’t the greatest, but we still finished top four in the West. We had another chance to win a championship and it all got squandered. It gets frustrating, but the sun comes out the next day and you’ve got to figure it out.
Trades and moves are a part of the NBA. Some fans still talk about that young Lakers core with you, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, and D-Lo. You guys all moved on to other franchises and achieved your own accolades. Have you ever thought about what if you guys stayed together and what you could have done if you got a bit more time to grow together?
I don’t think it ever was going to work with all of us being there. [Laughs.] I think we all were stars in our own right. Us separating and going into our home lanes was a good change of scenery for everybody. I see the tweets and all that stuff. It’s so funny to look back on it. I think the Lakers did a great job of scouting us, finding the talent, and giving us the opportunity by drafting us. But us all being on the same team, I don’t think it ever would’ve worked out. We probably wouldn’t have brought a championship back to them or none of that, you know what I mean? They got LeBron for us, whatever it is. It’s part of the game. All of us were stars in our own roles. We had to get a change of scenery to let us grow in other ways.
I saw you playing for the Philippines. Can you talk about what that has meant for you and what basketball means to that country?
It’s great just being able to represent the country. I always feel the love. I always feel the support. I love and cherish all the moments that I can share with that country and represent and put on. Hopefully, we get a good pool for the World Cup next August and we are able to win some games and qualify for the Olympics. That’s my biggest goal for the national team and for the country.